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Belgium Closes Entertainment Venues As Omicron Spreads

Channels Television  
Updated December 22, 2021
A medical worker unpacks 50 Decathlon snorkeling masks, to be used with 3D-printed respiratory valves fittings on March 27, 2020. Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

 

Belgium’s government on Wednesday announced concert halls, cinemas and other entertainment venues would have to close from the weekend as Omicron cases increased.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told a media conference that while overall Covid infections were down 60 percent from where they were three weeks ago, worryingly three out of 10 positive tests were now of the Omicron variant.

“We have to be more careful than ever in this period where there are many uncertainties,” he said.

While entertainment venues would have to shut from Sunday, the additional restrictions would not affect museums, De Croo said.

He added that restaurants and bars would still be able to remain open until 11 pm, under curtailed hours imposed since the start of the month.

But, if the increase in Omicron cases led to more hospitalisations, he did not rule out stricter restrictions being brought in.

De Croo noted that so far nearly 40 percent of adults in Belgium had received booster shots.